Mohammed Hanif 's writing is witty and wry-juicily provocative and laced with a plucky, disarmingly charming humorous comportment. A Case of Exploding Mangoes will have readers wondering what really caused a C130 aircraft carrying the Pakistani leader General Zia ul Huq to crash on August 17, 1988.
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"This unusual Pakistani story is based on an enduring mystery--what REALLY caused the 1988 plane crash that killed the dictator General Zia-ul-Huq? In a novel that is being compared to CATCH-22, the fictional Ali Shigri is a young military officer who is questioning various explanations of the accident (including a too- bountiful mango crop!). Narrator Paul Bhattacharjee expertly captures the distinctions of old and young voices and perspectives in this poetic, though very graphic, novel. While there are many clever asides and witticisms, this is also the sad tale of a troubled nation by one of its own. And, like the cause of the plane crash, Ali and his friend Obaid's true relationship is never fully revealed. The painful conclusion includes a beautiful recitation from the Koran. S.G.B. (c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine"